Because you have to start somewhere. In December of 2014, I decided to start birding.
Bio: Hi, I’m Audrey! I live in Portland, Oregon. I have a bachelor’s degree in science and an associate’s in natural resources. I love nature, traveling, learning, and I’m inspired by birds!
I’m a beginner birder and I’ve decided to keep track of the birds I see. Mostly I’ll visit parks and wetland reserves near my hometown of Portland, Oregon. I’ll probably make a point to travel around the state to find unique or rare species. I’m following this list of the 534 species that have occurred in Oregon as a guide, but I’ll also include species I see on travels outside the state. Hopefully I’ll find a bunch! I’m carrying field guides, taking webinars, classes, joining local birding group outings…anything I can do to learn more about birds!
Why am I birding?
No, really, why am I birding?
- I’ve always had a casual interest, but after finally completing my degree I have more time and energy to invest in the birding lifestyle.
- Once I began, I was hooked. As I mentioned in my first post, it’s given me a focus on my hikes and reignited my love of Oregon. It’s an interesting challenge as often new birds present themselves each outing. I feel a connection to nature and it takes me out of my head.
- I’m tackling digital photography and there’s nothing like the satisfaction of capturing a good picture of a bird (AKA moving target).
Why am I blogging about birding?
- Writing about my birding experiences helps me solidify the birds to memory. Not that I can remember them all, but at least I’ll have a reference point to go back to. It’s a way to process what I see, hear, and learn.
- Also, by putting it out there, perhaps it’ll influence someone else to see their hometown and birds in a different light. My hope is that as my skills improve, and if I organize this site well enough, I may help other beginner birders learn a thing or two.
What birds do I hope to see?
- Right now, at the top of my list are owls (all of them), I’d especially like to see Great Grey Owls. I’d also like to see Rock Wrens (because they rock), Yellow-breasted Chats, and bluebirds because happiness.
- 2014: Cedar Waxwings, and any migrating bird. And Puffins, because Puffins!!
- I’m more interested in quality sightings over quantity. More than a numbers game, I am interested in learning about bird’s roles in ecosystems, their history, and what future concerns exist for certain species.
What am I doing for birds?
- Mostly, observing them. I have huge amounts of respect and admiration for what animals in nature, especially birds have to do just to stay alive; migration, winters, habitat loss, predation, and/or a combination of all of it. I am aware that they’re natural creatures and not here for my enjoyment (even though I do enjoy watching them). There’s a line when interacting with nature, and I aim to stay on the well-meaning side.
- Citizen science projects! Backyard bird counts, Christmas counts, Birdathon. Anything to help preserve these natural wonders.
What is my favorite bird/bird-song?
- Honestly, I have a soft spot for the Killdeer, since it was the first bird I correctly identified on my own in my first Ornithology class in 2005.
- My favorite song is that of the Swainson’s Thrush because I usually hear it when hiking in the Columbia Gorge, one of the places I treasure most in Oregon.
Thanks for following along!
Tweets and chirps!
Audrey! So nice to meet you today! I am inspired by you. See you next Saturday!
Likewise, Victoria! Thanks so much. 🙂
Hi Audrey, Nice to read about your visit to Hayden Island and I’m glad you saw a few interesting birds. Thanks for sharing! :o)
[…] About Me […]
Hi – I have enjoyed your blog! I’m also in Portland and in the past year (now that I have my own yard) I’ve got a feeder up and started birdwatching (and squirrel watching…sigh) from my kitchen window. Ready to take it up a notch this spring/summer! What kind of camera do you have?
Thank you! Yard birding in Portland is so fun! I am currently experimenting with squirrel buster feeders. Sigh, indeed. The camera I use is the Canon PowerShot SX50. Let me know if you have any other questions! Happy birding!
Thanks – the SX50 seems to be the most common recommendation. I was thinking I’d get a camera before a pair of binoculars…because a picture lasts longer. I’ve got a brome squirrel buster classic feeder – it works fairly well. But the little buggers have figured out how to spin it so that it sprays a small amount of seed when it spins back. Birds seem to feed despite the squirrel’s presence – so I am resigned to squirrel antics since they have to work fairly hard for a small amount of food.
[…] Tweets and Chirps […]
Hey Audrey – Your picture from Bonney Butte is good – the one with the two Accipiter’s! Correction though – it is a Sharp Shinned Hawk (Juv) with a juvenile Goshawk! That’s a good one.
Hi Thomas! Thanks for your comment. Are you referring to the recent “Chasing Dreams” post? I think I wrote above that photo “The best bird was a Northern Goshawk bombed by a Sharp-shinned Hawk.” I believe this is the photo you’re referring to.
I didn’t notice they were juveniles, that’s cool!
Totally enchanted by your journey. New to birding, new to Portland, older singer/songwriter named Birdy. Recovered from many spinal challenges and do best when I think of my spine as a bird spine. Just found the ebird site, followed you over here and live in NE so likely similar 5MR. Whitaker Ponds, Gorge, Blue Lake, and many random drives have taken me to some birds. I love going w someone who can identify. Maybe when it warms up we could take a walk or bike ride? I could use a mentor!
Hi Birdy! Thanks for following along! Birding does amazing things for all sorts of recovery. Those hotspots you mention are some of my favorite local places, hope to see you out there some time. Cheers!
Look forward to further posts.
I am Judy, who lived across the street on Going in the Green/Red bungalow in 2019-2020 until just this August. We met over the nesting birds in the tall fir next to your place. I finally landed again and found your blog.
I am wild to have you update it! It’s been such a powerful and frightening years for us birders, who worry about their well-being and next successes! Please keep posting and sharig your fab photographs.
Another one of my local favorites is https://www.wandernature.com/ and the beauty that my friend Claire catches, of birds and other amazing beings. You two would get along famously!
Best to you as we all hold tight to the branches right now, and care for one another.